A wave that could have been called love flowed through him. Then he wondered what their lives might be like if their six months together turned into thirty years.
David Wayne Dunn
The wind came in waves and caressed the street with the touch of a heavy hand like a drunk lover weighty with desire. The sky was wholly dark, covered by storm and the stars were resigned not to shine.
“Do you want to eat soon?”
Nancy wanly smiled, kept walking at a slow pace and said: “I guess so. I think we should, for strength, you know. Maybe it will help if we eat something.” She was feeling tired and vacant. Many times when she visited the city it happened that she would grow silent and aimless.
“But you’ll have to decide. I really don’t care.”
Now it was Christopher’s turn to become edgy, but he kept his composure after all. “No. You decide, my darling.” Nancy glanced furtive eyes at him.
“Well, there’s that place near the water. I haven’t a clue of the name but I just love the reflections!”
A spark of life returned to Nancy’s eyes but just as they were about to change direction they saw a homeless woman crouching in the cold like a caged animal. Though she was covered in thick blankets she trembled terribly. She was vainly counting life’s promises, the few pennies she held in her hand. “What poor wretches we are,” Christopher thought.
The woman looked up with dark, painful eyes as they passed. Nancy hesitated. “Shouldn’t we help her?” Then turning sad eyes on Christopher: “Do you have any change to give her?” Christopher reached in his coat pocket. For a moment he was unsure and felt uncharitable.
But when he noticed the woman’s dirty naked feet with grotesquely long toe nails sticking out from the rancid blankets, he handed her a twenty-dollar bill. The woman reached for it with a black hand without saying a word.
At the restaurant, there was only one other couple. They were eating in thick, harsh silence as if they had been set in that position for three hundred years. Nancy and Christopher were led to a table by the window. The lights across the bay, of course. Oh, if only they were edible! Christopher watched the ancient couple drinking red wine, clearing their plates in silence. “At least they have wine,” he thought. “It no doubt helps; but what it helps, I am not sure…”
Suddenly, he looked at Nancy who was adoring the lights on the water.
A wave that could have been called love flowed through him. Then he wondered what their lives might be like if their six months together turned into thirty years. Nancy asked him if he was hungry. Christopher’s eyes changed into the eyes of a weary animal. He remembered handing that shivering homeless woman his twenty-dollar bill and fell, with a sickening occurrence in his stomach down a cold, abysmal well.
He had to force a smile. And then he said: “I think I’ll start with red wine.” §
— David Wayne Dunn 2006